Biden and Harris, were selected from a shortlist that included Donald Trump, frontline health care workers with Dr. Anthoney Fauci, and the movement for racial justice.
“The Biden Harris ticket represents something historic,” said Time’s editor-in-chief of Edward Felsenthal on their new NBC broadcast heralding the feature. Highlighting the President of the United States on the cover of Time isn’t new, every elected President since FDR until now has appeared on the historic cover. However, this is the first time a Vice President has been named person of the year.
“Person of the Year is not just about the year that was but about where we’re headed,” Felsenthal continued. “And the next four years is going to be an enormous test of them, and all of us, to see whether they can bring about the unity they promised.”
“I’m convinced the American public is looking for the possibilities that are available out there,” Biden said on the broadcast. “They know we’re so much better than this. When I ran I said, ‘This is about who we are as a nation, who we’re going to be, what we want to be.’ And the American people stepped up.”
Announced by Bruce Springsteen, the reveal was presented via NBC broadcast which contained several poignant vignettes moments this in memoriam musical tribute of “Over the Rainbow” from Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott.
Time also named BTS entertainer of the year. LeBron James was named athlete of the year and Gitanjali Rao a 15-year-old scientist and inventor was named the fist kid of the year. Guardians of the year included frontline health workers, with Porche Bennett-Bey and racial-justice organizers and Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Early last year, I went to a small dinner in New York for one of my predecessors in this job, former TIME editor turned best-selling biographer, professor and PBS host Walter Isaacson. We wound up talking about—what else?—the upcoming election. TIME had a particularly important role to play this season, Walter suggested, with the stakes so high and a record number of contenders in the mix. Why not do in-depth profiles, interviewing the major candidates so that we get to know not just their positions and platforms but who they are as human beings?
And so we did.
TIME contributor Anand Giridharadas traveled some 6,000 miles with Bernie Sanders in search of the candidate’s inner self. TIME’s Charlotte Alter toured the South Bend, Ind., “white house” that Pete Buttigieg shares with husband Chasten and dogs Buddy and Truman. Haley Sweetland Edwards talked white papers and policy wonkery with Elizabeth Warren. Lissandra Villa sat with Beto O’Rourke, Andrew Yang and Julián Castro. Abby Vesoulis took us into Amy Klobuchar’s Capitol Hill apartment, down to the books on her bookshelf.